Strikes

 

Happy Hump Day world! How is your week going on? Anything new and exciting? My week started with an unexpected day off, because there was a strike of the public transport and I couldn’t go to work. We didn’t have buses, but we had rain … plenty of it, loads of heavy and wet rain. I liked the rain actually, it was nice to stay home and listen to it knocking on the windows. The strike though made me a bit upset, it’s unbelievable how your plans can go down the toilet with the blink of an eye. It reminds me of so many other times I couldn’t go to work, or I couldn’t do something I wanted to, because of a demonstration or a protest.

It was one Saturday at home, few weeks ago, I was supposed to just clean the flat, maybe have over for lunch my cousin and my nephew…  It was a Saturday after a very tensed week and I didn’t feel like doing anything big.

I was drinking my morning coffee on the balcony when the phone rang and friend of mine called to say he is in town for the day and he would love to see me. I have this rare talent to choose friends, to connect, to fall in love with people that are not exactly next door, but most of the time really faraway, sometimes across the ocean … I don’t see my dear people often and when I do it’s a big joy. I was really happy with the phone call and the meeting to follow, I couldn’t wait to see my buddy, to have a laugh, to talk, to be near someone  I absolutely enjoy being with.

Getting dressed and running out of the flat was with the speed of the light, going to the bus-stop was like flying and all I was praying for was to be lucky  and not to wait much for some transport to appear. I wasn’t there even for a minute when I heard an old lady explaining to a man, how she waits for more than an hour for the bus, because there is a demonstration speech and the roads are closed.

–” Uh! Not again!”- I said quietly and just thought of  the best short cut walking to the place my meeting was.

Few months ago I would go furious when something like this would happen, but now after so many closed streets, after so many days and nights sleeping and waking up with the news, so many times walking home, because of strikes or demonstrations I just didn’t have the energy to get upset. It’s not the walking that would get me mad, I love walking and is not that I wouldn’t find a way to meet my friend or complete something I really need to, it’s the whole “messing with the day routine” attitude in cases like this.

I certainly don’t have the proper political education to speak with competence about matters like this, but I’m sure I am smart enough to have an opinion. And I wonder what kind of a political leader makes its speeches in the center of the town, blocking all roads, stopping the life of normal people in the middle of the day? And what exactly is that some people think will achieve with a strike or a demonstration? I certainly don’t underestimate the power of speech, I definitely don’t reject the right to protest, to express unhappiness, to stand for human rights, but don’t they see? There is no result, not a positive one at least!

Most of these acts in the past months were followed by broken properties, ruined days and even dead innocent people. Isn’t it the leader of a political party or a country the one to be a role model? Isn’t it the leader who is supposed to show the right way to behave and deal with the crisis? I might be wrong of course, as I said I don’t have the best political knowledge.

The other day someone told me:” You’re not Greek! Why do you care?”. I said nothing then, I didn’t want to start an argument, because I in general am a person of peace. And yes! I don’t have the right to call myself Greek, because I simply am not! But I have the right to feel for this town,  for this country! I live here! I’m part of it! I have the right to love the white buildings, the narrow one-way streets, the palm trees, the history in the air, the smell of the sea, the people around me who welcomed me as one of them and helped me to set my life here, the flat I rent, the language, the comedy theaters, the Freddo coffee, the heat and the bright summer. I have the right to say that here is my home and I love it!

So maybe, just maybe …I’m asking here: Isn’t it a time everyone of you to reconsider the way of thinking? Isn’t it a time to try a different path to escape the misery and the bad life, to stop demolishing, but build, to stop writing nasty words in black on the walls all over Athens, but draw icons of hope and a better tomorrow? Because one of these days, you might wake up to see there is nothing left to ruin, not even the pride to call yourself citizens of this lovely town!


Image by Melissa Alicia Photography

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© 2010  Broken Sparkles

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10 Responses to “Strikes”

  1. Cherlyn Says:

    I can’t stand strikes. I think after all the ones that have happened around me, they don’t really make me mad anymore either. It’s just when something like the buses go on strike and you depend on them for travelling, you feel helpless almost. I like the idea of unions, but the ability to strike really gets on my nerves – mostly because if 51% of the employees agree to do it, then the rest of the 49% have to follow suit. Which I suppose is “fair” in some sense, but if someone wants to work and continue to do their job, it’s unfair that they can’t do that either. It’s unfair for the people outside of the union that have been affected by it, and its unfair for the communities in which these strikes take place.

    I assume the strike is still going on right? I’m really sorry to hear that! I hope it ends soon!!

    • Broken Sparkles Says:

      We have almost every week one, sometimes two and it always involves the public transport if not for a whole day at least for 4-6 hours, exactly when everyone use it! I at first admired them how they stand for their rights and unite ..but now …not anymore! I’m used to it though! :) Thanks Cherlyn!

  2. Tom Baker Says:

    Strikes ruin things for lots of people especially when trash collectors go on strike. It’s a big stinky mess. At least you get to enjoy the pitter patter of the raindrops. We are all citizens of planet Earth and you have the right to consider yourself a Greek transplant. I like the pride you have in your surroundings no matter what country you are in! Great post Blaga.

    • Broken Sparkles Says:

      Oh, yes! The garbage strike in the middle of this hot summer .. I remember it very well! It was really bad a month ago when the delivery trucks were on strike for more than 2 weeks, in the supermarket near my flat you could buy only organic bread for 8 euro …which was the only one left on the shelves … I’m happy that you find my post great! Thanks Tom!

  3. Jingle Says:

    fear strikes…
    thanks for sharing.

  4. melissalicia Says:

    No truer words than the ones you’ve written here. These same sentiments can be used in reaction to a lot of the things going on here in the states as well.

  5. Jamie Dedes, all rights reserved Says:

    Well done. Freedom of expression is important, but it doesn’t have to and shouldn’t involve imposing on others: costing them work time, making them walk when perhaps they’re elderly or handicapped and can’t, causing probperty damage and costing human life. This is uncontionable and rather ironic in the city where democracy was alleged to be born.

    Good post, Blaga! Unfortunately, you’re preaching – as they say – to the choir, not that that’s your fault. It’s not.

    Poor dear. Wishing you peaceful days, safe passage, and reliable transport.


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